~~It is clear from the interviews and the survey results that students and youth with disabilities in Hawaii have a need to receive pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS) as identified in the Reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act in WIOA. These services include:
1. Job exploration counseling;
2. Work-based learning experiences;
3. Counseling on opportunities for enrollment in comprehensive transition or postsecondary educational programs at institutions of higher education;
4. Workplace readiness training to develop social skills and independent living (often referred to as soft skills); and
5. Instruction in self-advocacy, which may include peer mentoring
Each of these Pre-ETS services was noted as a need on a recurring basis when discussing the needs of students and youth in Hawaii.
The Rehabilitation Act as reauthorized in WIOA also indicates that the following authorized services can be provided if funds remain after the provision of the five required services noted above:
1. Implementing effective strategies to increase the likelihood of independent living and inclusion in communities and competitive integrated workplaces;
2. Developing and improving strategies for individuals with intellectual disabilities and individuals with significant disabilities to live independently, participate in postsecondary education experiences, and obtain and retain competitive integrated employment;
3. Providing instruction to vocational rehabilitation counselors, school transition personnel, and other persons supporting students and youth with disabilities;
4. Disseminating information about innovative, effective, and efficient approaches to achieve the goals of this section;
5. Coordinating activities with transition services provided by local educational agencies under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.);
6. Applying evidence-based findings to improve policy, procedure, practice, and the preparation of personnel, in order to better achieve the goals of this section;
7. Developing model transition demonstration projects;
8. Establishing or supporting multistate or regional partnerships involving States, local educational agencies, designated State units, developmental disability agencies, private businesses, or other participants to achieve the goals of this section; and
9. Disseminating information and strategies to improve the transition to postsecondary activities of individuals who are members of traditionally unserved populations. (Page 77) Title I
DVR can assist a VR eligible individual with only those activities that are included in their Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). All activities that are required for a VR eligible individual to prepare, obtain, maintain/regain employment (of their informed choice) will be listed on their IPE. If an activity that is required, is identified after the IPE is completed, then the VR eligible individual and the VR counselor, in agreement, can amend the IPE to include the activity and make any other changes as determined to be necessary to obtain employment. DVR and the Core partners are working on MOA’s which details the responsibilities of each partner which will help in the management and avoid duplication among these activities. In so far as duplication of activities by other optional AJC partners, VR would have minimal involvement as those services would not be listed on the IPE since those services would not be necessary for the VR eligible individual to obtain employment. (Page 123-124) Title I
The DLIR Director, along with the Superintendent of Education and the University of Hawaii President, is a voting member of the P-20 Statewide Longitudinal Data System (aka Data Exchange Partnership or DXP) Executive Committee. The Workforce Development Council Executive Director is an attending member of the Executive Committee. WDC staff are members of the DXP’s Data Governance and Access Committee (formerly known as the Steering Committee) and the Research and Data Request Sub-Committee.
In support of the WIOA state plan, the state CTE office is supporting two new positions to be hired in the spring of 2018. One is a CTE and Workforce Data Analyst and the other is a Workforce Alignment and Learning Opportunities Specialist. They will be housed in the P20 office and will address data and work-based learning across all WIOA stakeholders.
DVR already has a Special Education/Vocational Rehabilitation (SEVR) program. The primary purpose of the program is for students ages 14 - 21 who have been found eligible for VR services to participate gain work experience in an integrated setting, while still enrolled in school.
DVR is also working with Adult Literacy and Community Colleges to develop career pathways which include Pre-ETS with work-based learning experiences for VR students between 14-21 years of age. We are working with Adult Education to provide career pathways for VR clients which includes remedial reading and math classes; PETS and work experience for those clients who desire to enter directly into the labor force. We are working with the Community Colleges to provide career pathways for VR clients ages 14 and above who desire to enter secondary education prior to entering the workforce. (Page 132) Title I
In support of the WIOA state plan, the state CTE office is supporting two new positions to be hired in the spring of 2018. One is a CTE and Workforce Data Analyst and the other is a Workforce Alignment and Learning Opportunities Specialist. They will be housed in the P20 office and will address data and work-based learning across all WIOA stakeholders. (Page 133) Title I
The Sector Strategies and Career Pathways committee will convene sub-committees based on key industry sectors identified in the Unified Plan. These sub-committees will provide employer and industry perspective. The objectives of the sub-committees are:
• Assess training needs and skills gaps, inventory current resources and services, identify high priority gaps;
• Build stronger networks between firms and among education and training partners to identify high-priority skill gaps and in-demand sectors;
• Review and provide feedback on HIDOE and UHCC’s standards and assessments, academic and career technical content and work skills;
• Increase high quality, work-based learning opportunities for secondary and postsecondary students that lead to industry recognized credentials;
• Identify new industry-recognized credentials or work-based programs that give companies confidence in skills of new hires and provide workers with more mobility;
• Develop opportunities for professional development training for teachers, school/job counselors, training providers, etc.;
• Identify policies and/or strategies to sustain the model. (Page 153) Title I
• State and federal funds from DHS—for job development. job readiness, and placement of TANF recipients and SNAP recipients into jobs.
• State and federal funds from State DHS, DVR to WDD to implement a 2016 Summer Youth Employment program for youth with a disability on Counties of Oahu, Hawaii, and Maui; also supports a year-round WDD staff on Big Island for business outreach and employment assistance for DVR clients. With DVR, WDD is developing a plan for year-round work-based learning services to youth with disabilities using DVR Pre-Employment Transition Services fund for Oahu; and a plan for DVR youth referrals for a Summer Youth Employment Program on Hawaii and Maui Counties. (Page 162) Title I
In the case of a State that, under section 101(a)(2)(A)(i)of the Rehabilitation Act designates a State agency to administer the part of the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan under which VR services are provided for individuals who are blind, describe the process and the factors used by the State to determine the distribution of funds among the two VR agencies in the State.
o Vocational Rehabilitation Basic Support Grant. The purpose of this grant is to assist Hawaii in operating statewide comprehensive, coordinated, effective, efficient, and accountable programs of vocational rehabilitation, which is an integral part of a statewide workforce investment system designed to assess, plan, develop, and provide vocational rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities to prepare for and engage in gainful employment.
o Hawaii DVR is a combined agency which means that we receive one Basic Support Grant which funds the General and Blind agency.
o DVR supports the WDD staff and the American Job Center staff on all islands for business outreach and employment assistance for DVR clients. Along with DVR staff, employers will be provided training and technical assistance to include, but not limited to (1) disability awareness; (2) compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); (3) VR services; (4) recruitment and hiring of persons with disabilities and (5) support for current employees with disabilities.
o DVR has a current State Educational Agency (SEA) Agreement with the DOE and is currently developing an updated SEA agreement to include the WIOA regulations.
o Upon exit from the DOE/Special Education Program, DVR’s clients attend DOE/Adult Education classes. DVR and Adult Education management staff have been meeting to significantly increase the number of DVR clients attending Adult Education classes in 2018. (Page 167) Title I
Following receipt of student referrals, VR counselors complete applications with students and their families, and determine eligibility. When a student is found eligible for VR Services, the VR counselor will attend the IEP meeting at the request of the DOE, when possible. At the request of the IEP team, the VR counselor will review and allow for amendments to the student’s IPE. Pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS) include: job exploration counseling, counseling related to transition or post-secondary training/education, instruction in self-advocacy, workplace readiness training and work-based learning experiences. VR counselors provide counseling in job exploration and transition or post-secondary training/education. Service providers (e.g. community rehabilitation programs, partnering public sector agencies) are contracted for workplace readiness training and work-based learning experiences, and instruction in self-advocacy. (Pages 281-282) Title IV
VR counselors receive direct referrals of students with disabilities from the school, at any time during the school year. They provide consultation and technical assistance to schools during their visits, and during IEP meetings for students who were found eligible. When a student is found eligible for VR services the VR counselor will attend IEP meetings, at the request of the DOE when possible and agreed to with stakeholders. If unable to attend, VR information is provided. The VR counselor will review the student’s IPE and allow for amendments at the request of an IEP team.
Transition counselors provide introduction and guidance to post-school alternatives, and planning and coordination for work experiences in a work based setting to improve employment outcomes.
VR counselors receive direct referrals of students with disabilities from the school, at any time during the school year. They provide consultation and technical assistance to school staff during their school visits, and during IEP meetings for students and their families who were found eligible. When a student is found eligible for VR Services the VR counselor will attend IEP meetings, at the request of the DOE when possible. If unable to attend, VR information is provided. The VR counselor will review the student’s IPE and allow for amendments at the request of an IEP team. (Page 282) Title IV
DVR and DOE are agreed to work collaboratively to assist transition aged youth (TAY) in development and completion of their individualized education program (IEP). Transition planning includes, but is not limited to: DVR Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist (VRS) invitation to participate in DOE’s IEP meeting for shared TAYs, DVR VRS collaboration with and assistance to DOE teachers in transition planning for TAY, introduction and guidance of TAY to post-school alternatives by DOE transition coordinator and DVR VRS. Planning also includes coordination of experiences for TAY in work—based settings to improve employment outcomes.
DVR will provide transition planning which facilitates the development and completion of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and development of an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) within 90 days from the date of eligibility, and prior to exit from high school for students served by the VR program (34 CFR §361.22(a)).
DOE facilitates annual IEP meetings for every student receiving Special Education services. Should the IEP team agree to submit a referral to DVR; the DOE Transition teacher will be responsible for submitting a referral for VR Services at the conclusion of the IEP meeting.
IEP meetings are facilitated by DOE. At IEP meetings, the VR Counselor provides an overview of the agency’s goal/mission, eligibility criteria, scope of services, rights/remedies, and other information specific to the student’s IPE. Once a student is found eligible for VR Services, the VR Counselor will attend the annual IEP meetings at the request of the DOE, when possible. If the VR Counselor is unable to attend this meeting, information will be provided to the family. The VR Counselor reviews the student’s IPE and allows for amendments at the request of the IEP team. DVR is represented on a variety of committees (Special Education Advisory Council, Developmental Disabilities Council) which enable parents and members of the community to gather information and provide input to DVR. (Page 283-284) Title IV
DVR works with employers to provide VR services through disability and diversity etiquette training, ADA advising, workshops on Emotional Intelligence and Job Readiness Training “Ho’ala” contracted through City and County, Department of Community Service Work Hawaii. Pre-employment transition services are offered through contracts with the Department of Education through Special Education Vocational Rehabilitation (SEVR). SEVR provides unique work experience opportunities with employers in the community. Our network of over 600 employers are informed of various DVR programs that allow them to utilize internships, OJTs, apprenticeships in collaboration with the local Community Colleges, and Adult Education programs to access work-based learning experiences. Ongoing workshops and forums with employers are conducted on a quarterly basis with Work Hawaii from Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) to inform employers of changes in legislation and workforce diversification. (Page 288) Title II
Hawaii DVR will coordinate CSPD activities with those provided under the IDEA through the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC). A representative of the State Educational Agency responsible for the public education of students with disabilities who are eligible to receive services under this title and part B of the IDEA is appointed by the Governor to be a member of the SRC. Program and financial information are disseminated at SRC meetings and orientation and trainings with VR and DOE, Special Education staff are coordinated at SRC meetings. Joint trainings for DOE /DVR staff are scheduled when necessary (e.g. training for revised procedures for current services or new services.). The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, WIOA, regulations are shared with the DOE staff during the joint quarterly meetings and other meetings needed to address concerns/clarifications as they arise. The transition counselor’s role is to have a presence at their designated schools. The counselors provide consultation and technical assistance to the Department of Education (DOE) staff, students and their families with information regarding DVR’s goal/mission, eligibility criteria, scope of services, rights/remedies and the Special Education-Vocational Rehabilitation (SE-VR) program during their regularly scheduled visits and during IEP meetings. (Page 294) Title IV
DVR investigated the needs of youth and students with disabilities in their 2015 Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA). It is clear from the interviews and the survey results that students in Hawaii have a need to receive pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS). Each of the Pre-ETS categories of activities were noted as a need on a recurring basis when discussing the needs of students.
B. Required Activities
• Job exploration counseling;
• Work-based learning experiences, which may include in-school or afterschool opportunities, or experience outside the traditional school setting (including internships), provided in an integrated environment to the maximum extent possible;
• Counseling on opportunities for enrollment in comprehensive transition or postsecondary educational programs at institutions of higher education;
• Workplace readiness training to develop social skills and independent living skills; and
• Instruction in self-advocacy, which may include peer mentoring.
C. Target Populations: Students receiving transition services pursuant to IDEA or a student who is an individual with a disability under Section 504 aged 14 - 21. (Page 302) Title IV
PRE-ETS Goals: DVR/WDD/DOE strategies for leveraging resources and funding include; DVR working/contracting with the Core Partners to leverage resources and funding for the provision of job exploration counseling and placement and case management services. Specifically, WDD has agreed to leverage resources and funding from other programs (e.g. a Disability Employment Initiative grant) to the maximum extent possible, to provide individualized services such as job coaching, uniforms, transportation to and from work-based learning sites, safety equipment or assistive technology to participating Pre-ETS students. WDD will partner with Adult Education to provide the workplace readiness training to DVR’s Pre-ETS students in preparation for successful attainment of the work-based learning skills. (Page 303) title IV
VR counselors receive direct referrals of students with disabilities from the school, at any time during the school year. They provide consultation and technical assistance to schools during their visits, and during IEP meetings for students who were found eligible. When a student is found eligible for VR services, the VR counselor will attend IEP meetings, at the request of the DOE when possible. If VR counselor is unable to attend the IEP meeting, the transition counselor provides VR information to the student. The VR counselor will review the student’s IPE and allow for amendments at the request of an IEP team. Transition counselors provide introduction and guidance to post school alternatives, and planning and coordination for work experiences in a work-based setting to improve employment outcomes. VR counselors provide counseling in job exploration and transition or post-secondary training/education. Service providers (e.g. community rehabilitation programs, public sector agencies) are contracted for workplace readiness training, work-based learning experiences, and instruction in self-advocacy. DVR continues a long-standing collaboration with the Department of Education to deliver the Special Education — Vocational Rehabilitation (SE-VR) Work Study Program. SE-VR is a work-based learning experience designed to deliver three inter-related components: classroom experience, in-school work experiences and community work experience. The DOE classroom experience is designed with a workplace readiness component. DOE in-school experience is designed to continue work place readiness training with hands-on experience at the DOE school. Finally, community work experience is designed to provide work-based learning experiences in the community. DVR has implemented a Summer Youth Program to provide work-based learning experiences in State, City and County, Federal and private sector work places. (Page 317) Title IV
Improve Employment Outcomes for Individuals with Disabilities by:
1.Strengthening vocational assessment practices as the foundation for more comprehensive services which meet customer needs, identify and address barriers to employment, and maximize outcomes. • Incentivize timely service delivery by implementing new performance measures for VR counselors which ensure that 90% of eligibility determinations will be completed within 90 days of customers’ application dates and that 90% of Individual Plans for Employment (IPEs) are developed within 60 days of customers’ eligibility determination dates. • Provide high-quality training and support, ensuring staff have the knowledge and skills needed to deliver high-quality vocational rehabilitation services. • Through statewide case file reviews, build an organizational culture of quality to strengthen substantial counseling and guidance.
2.Conduct outreach to key populations, including students with disabilities, to ensure thatall with persons with disabilities have access to services and supports needed to prepare forand obtain employment. (Page 318) Title IV